Social functioning was assessed in 189 nonmelancholically depressed outpatients. Patients were then treated for 6 weeks in a double-blind trial of phenelzine, imipramine, or placebo and functioning was reassessed. Before treatment, younger, more severely depressed, more chronically depressed patients and those with a DSM-III diagnosis of major depression plus dysthymic disorder were more functionally impaired than patients without these characteristics. Chronically depressed patients who responded to treatment reported significantly improved functioning while nonresponders did not. These results suggest that for some chronically depressed patients, impaired functioning results at least partly from the Axis I mood disorder instead of being entirely attributable to Axis II character pathology.